In my counselling session we were talking about weight. Well, we weren’t, but I brought it round to weight because I can do that about most topics:
“Are you going to the cinema?”
“Depends on whether I can cope with possibly needing the loo halfway through and therefore having to get up and show everyone the silhouette of my body.”
“It’s nice weather today.”
“I’m too hot because I’m suffocating in layers of fat.”
“Is that a cat?”
“If I sat on a cat, it would never again see the light of day.”
“…It would turn into a vampire?”
“That is correct.”
She had said I should ask her anything because she’ll be honest. We both found out just how much I think people are thinking about what a monstrosity I am and that I should ask her if I wanted to know what she was thinking. When I mentioned weight I must have looked a bit embarrassed and she asked me why. I said “I think you’re trying to guess my weight, or that you’ll ask me.”
She replied. “It didn’t even cross my mind.”
I did not believe her. I still don’t, really, because maybe she wasn’t, maybe it genuinely wasn’t what she was thinking about. She said she was thinking about how my family work together and our relationships.
I said “I can’t see how you wouldn’t be thinking about my weight, because it’s such a big deal to me that I assume it must be a big deal to everyone else.”
Right there. One of those CLICK moments. That’s my problem. I am obsessed with my weight/appearance/social interactions, so much so that I assume everyone else is obsessed as well. It’s my problem, and yet I’m making it everyone else’s problem.
Except they don’t know that: I don’t go round with ‘ASHAMED’ stamped on my forehead. I internalise it. I hunch my shoulders and walk with my head down and then go into a news agents and get something forbidden. So the problem which is mine, which I think is everyone else’s but is really mine, then becomes this eating problem, which only affects me. I am sabotaging myself over and over again because of what I think, and then what I think other people think, and then how I react to the thinking by overeating or bingeing.
Does this make sense? No, it doesn’t make sense to me either. And that’s part of the problem.